If you are a journalist life has become easy these days. All you have to do is to find One incident and do a big story. I mean the story of N Sundaresha Subramanian in DNA Money done on April 02, 2009. It is a story on how Birla Mutual Fund (the Amc) is bending backwards to be the No.3 in the Amc ranking.

It is a negative story so it is easy to carry – and people will read.

I belong to the old school of journalism – we actually thought we had to do our home work, read, talk to amcs, distributors, SEbi, banks, employees and collect stuff. Then we had to find a pattern. Let me take an example. I have been told by 3 alert clients about the ‘true to label’ investing mistakes by 3 fund houses. Is it enough to do a story saying the ‘label should be ignored’ or even better ‘the label is a fable’ ? The answer is yes, of course. However the correct way is to do a review of 20-30 schemes and then say ‘A’ fund house is doing it, ‘B’ had done in the past, …etc.

Similarly if there is a story on throwing money at distributors – this story misses it. This is a ‘personal’ – ‘khunnas’ kind of story. Sorry SS story should be on topics, not people – even if it some easy sitting duck like Pankaj Razdan or Ajay Srinivasan. You should have done research on money being thrown by other AMCs – even the ‘holier than thou’ ones are doing it. Why are we fooling ourselves into believing that only PR and AS are doing it? Ask the distributors – you have a bigger story waiting.

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  1. One financial story that the press continuously carries is ‘mutual funds are cheaper than ulips’. One amazing program i saw on Ndtv profit was showing how entry loads can have an impact on investments. They showed one investment (one-time i think) and they had different loads – from 2% to 40%!! Now there is no product which is a SINGLE premium and having a 40% load – but poisoning the minds these 2 brilliant ladies – Manisha Natrajan and Monika Halan have done very well in their program. I always thought of television as a dumb medium to learn from, but anchors are much more dumber….

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